Modern Family is breaking down barriers again, by casting a transgender kid in an upcoming episode.
The long-running show won acclaim early on for its pioneering portrayal of same-sex couple Cameron and Mitchell (Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson) as they start a family.
In an upcoming episode of the show’s eighth season, the pair’s daughter Lily invites her transgender friend Tom over for a playdate.
The dads are proud of their kid for being so accepting, only for a misunderstanding to leave them doubting their daughter.
NewNowNext reports that the show has cast 8-year-old transgender actor Jackson Millarker in the role.
A synopsis for the episode says: “Cam and Mitchell have always felt they were the most open, non-judgmental and supportive parents. However, when they overhear Lily insulting her new friend, they have to take a quick look in the mirror before they teach her a lesson about acceptance.”
The episode, A Stereotypical Day, will air in the US on Wednesday.
Stonestreet, who is straight, previously revealed he snubbed anti-gay Republican Rick Santorum when the politician claimed he was a fan of the show.
He said: “One of my favourite events is the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. I have people that you would be shocked that wanted pictures with me
“Rick Santorum wanted a picture with me. It was at a time when he was publicly saying, ‘Gay marriage, gay marriage [is wrong],’ and I’m like, ‘You know, I can’t do it’.
“It was with him and his kids or something like that, and I said, ‘I’d be happy to take a picture with the kids’, but I can’t just be in a picture with [him].”
He also said: “President Obama mentioned in an interview that Michelle and the kids watch Mitch and Cam and they’re in tears.
“To hear the leader of the free world, the president of the United States, say that and to know we have that sort of reach with people and that the people in power and leadership are watching the show [is incredible].”
The move to introduce a transgender character into the cast is ground breaking. Last week, a trans teen was fired from their part time job for being interviewed on ABC News.
Last week, it was announced that the first British female to serve on the front line is transgender.